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Police lockdown Royal Plaza as 9,000 police are deployed for today’s anti-establishment protest

The Thaiger

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Police lockdown Royal Plaza as 9,000 police are deployed for today’s anti-establishment protest | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World
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Police have blocked access to the Royal Plaza in an effort to second guess protesters’ plans to march to the Royal Plaza this afternoon. Protesters announced this afternoon’s rally, scheduled to start at 4pm, with a proposed march to an unannounced location. Police have suspected it would ether be Sanam Luang, adjacent to the Grand Palace, the Royal Plaza, or Government House. Protesters are calling today’s rally the “Great March Gathering”.

They’ve already barricaded access with used busses, razor wire and steel barriers at the Makkawan Rangsan Bridge, on Rajdamnoen Nai Road. The Royal Plaza was ‘locked down’ at dawn this morning.

Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon has warned protesters to remain peaceful and not break the law, whilst police made it clear to the protesters not to venture within a 150 metre radius of the Dusit Palace.

Traffic police say that motorists should avoid these areas this afternoon…

• Rajdamnoen Nai / Larn Luang / Rajdamnoen Klang / Din Sor

• Rajdamnoen Nok / Tanown / Somdet Phra Pinklao / Rama 8 Bridge

• Visutkasat / Phra Pinklao Bridge / Chakkapatdipong

Anyone with plans to visit the Rattanakosin Island area this afternoon and evening should also be aware of the protest. Based on past events, this afternoon’s rally could attract up to 20,000 people.

The Free Youth Facebook page, which has over 1.4 million followers, has advised supporters to bring some basic protective gear. They’ve also asked them to bring paper and pens to write messages and to prepare posters and placards to share the protest demands. They were also invited to bring along prepared letters that could be passed on to Thailand’s King.

The page is also peppered with ‘free to download’ posters and placard artwork, information about how to proceed, pleas for no violence and this… “Let’s meet! 16.00 at the Democracy Monument before the parade to our King!”

The protest organisers have already shown their ability to outwit the police by changing protest locations at short notice and using an intricate web of encrypted message systems.

Police have already been deployed to the Democracy Monument, just as hawkers began occupying the pavements, along Rajdamnoen Avenue to Tanown Road, to sell ready-made food, bottled water, soft drinks and T-shirts.

Police say around 9,000 police have been deployed to ensure peace and order around the protest site and to prevent confrontation between the protesters and royalists, who also plan to gather near the Democracy Monument today.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Wayne Martin

    November 8, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    So much for a safe 2 meter distance (covid) ? Are these people stupid or what

  2. Avatar

    Jack

    November 8, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    I think the protests are showing the weaknesses of the group they do not endorse. Its like watching the 3 stooges… for now anyways

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Bangkok

Khao San Road remains empty during the day, night crowds keep the street alive

Caitlin Ashworth

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Khao San Road remains empty during the day, night crowds keep the street alive | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

Without foreign tourists at Bangkok’s infamous backpacker mecca, Khao San Road has gone quiet. While nights draw local crowds, it’s not what it used to be and the once bustling street remains empty during the day time.

While locals frequent the nightclubs and bars on the street, Khao San Road is not nearly what is was like before the pandemic. The deserted street during the daytime is an ongoing problem, according to the head of Khao San trader’s association Sanga Reungwattanakun. He says before 5pm, the street is empty.

Before the pandemic, Khao San Road generated a revenue of 1 billion baht each year and 99% of the customers were foreigners, Sanga says. Visiting the street has been considered a “rite-of-passage” for foreign backpackers.

The area is known for being crazy with party hostels, cheap alcohol and balloons filled with laughing gas. It’s also known for its eclectic street food like scorpion on a stick. During the day (pre-pandemic), tourists would get massages, go shopping, get some food or grab a drink. (or 2.. or 3…)

Without the foreign tourists, many of the hotels on the street are closed and Sanga says some traders were just too slow to adjust to the new market conditions.

During the lockdown, Khao San Road had a facelift. More than 48 million baht was put into the area for major renovations like leveling out the road and footpaths, adding some gutters and designing space for emergency vehicles.

Since the road’s official reopening with a Halloween event in October, local officials have been trying to figure out ways to pump more life into the street. The campaign “Go to Khao San 2435” was recently launched to try to draw more people to the area. Nightly opening hours have been extended to 1am, but the daytime still remains a problem.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Protests

Thai Constitutional Court official files contempt charge against protest leader

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai Constitutional Court official files contempt charge against protest leader | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

A student protest leader is facing charges of contempt after he made statements on Facebook critical of the Constitutional Court ruling to acquit PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, allowing the Thai prime minister and former Army General to continue occupying a military-owned residence. Critics have argued that allowing Prayut, a retired general, to say at the Army residence is a conflict of interest.

Director of the Constitutional Court’s litigation office and police officer, Montri Daengsri, filed the charge against pro-democracy protest leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak. Montri says the Facebook posts made by Penguin were defamatory to the court and had tarnished its reputation.

In addition to the Facebook posts, Montri says the protest leader made an offensive speech following the court ruling at the Lat Phrao intersection in Bangkok. He says the speech was defamatory and violated Thailand’s Criminal Code. Police are investigating the claims to determine if charges should be pressed.

Prayut occupies a military reception house at the 1st Infantry Regiment residential area on Phahon Yothin in Bangkok, according to the Royal Thai Army. Tenants in army welfare houses have to pay for utility bills while those who live in the reception houses, like retirees, do not pay for household expenses and the utility bill is covered by the Army.

The Constitutional Court ruled this week that Prayut did not violate the Charter by occupying the residence. The court says under military regulations, former officers can remain at their Army residence after their retirement at the discretion of the Thai Army commander.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

Schoolgirl bursts into tears meeting Panasaya, fearing for activist’s safety

Maya Taylor

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Schoolgirl bursts into tears meeting Panasaya, fearing for activist’s safety | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.prachachat.net

Protest leader Panusaya Sitthijirawattanakul, aka, “Rung”, has been pictured consoling a young schoolgirl who broke down in tears, concerned about the activist’s safety. Rattapol Kaiipah Promsuwan, who witnessed the exchange, has shared a photo of the moment on social media. She says the girl, who is in Grade 6 (making her around 11 years old), had gone to the organisers’ area during Wednesday’s rally at the Lat Phrao intersection in Bangkok. There, she asked to meet Panusaya, a hero of hers.

The girl’s sister says her sibling has an interest in politics and is concerned about reports that Panusaya faces lèse majesté charges. Thailand’s lèse majesté law prohibits insulting, defaming or threatening the nation’s revered Monarchy, and carries a punishment of up to 15 years’ imprisonment. During her meeting with Panusaya, the girl cried for half an hour, with the student activist trying to console her, and a Facebook photo showing her hugging the child.

Panusaya has received a new summons from the Technology Crime Suppression Division, as a result of a police complaint lodged by royalist supporter, Nitipong Honark, a music composer. She is now being summonsed on December 9, to hear additional charges of lèse majesté and violating the Computer Crimes Act .

Meanwhile, the BBC has named her in its list of the world’s 100 most influential and inspirational women of 2020.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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